Enjoying this Living Death – Nisargadatta Maharaj

Visitor: The will to live is strong. To drop this identification with the body is like dying in a sense. Is it possible to do it voluntarily?

Maharaj: What you call the body is this food, which is the fuel for the sustenance of your Consciousness. The mind is the product of the vital breath; when the vital breath flows the mind flows and creates the world. Language is an external impression that’s made on the child. The child absorbs the vital breath and then talks. Consciousness is the wish to ‘Be’. That Beingness wants to be perpetuated and does not want to be extinguished. Its quality is the will to live. Which is love itself. It loves to live. Because it wants to live and sustain itself, it creates the right conditions and goes into activity in the world.

V: Isn’t this detachment from the body-mind like a form of death?

M: Yes, it is a sort of death. (Maharaj sings a morning prayer.) “The greatest advantage I’ve got is out of the fact that I am enjoying this living death.” Most of the saints talk about this living death.

V: Can we reach a state like you, where we are willing to experience this death?

M: You don’t lose your Self. The whole process is to understand your mis-identification and come out of it. If you accept this then nothing can touch you. Knowing that you are not the body, watch the vital breath as a flow of the mind. You are here in the spark of “I Amness.” When you acknowledge the “I Amness” you become the spark. I am like space and do not have an identity – this is my “I Amness” from which all the talk is being produced.

Now you have heard me talk at length. Do you still feel it necessary to have all this play of dancing and jumping about in Rajneesh’s ashram to achieve Self-realization?

V: No

M: A common man who feels inclined towards spirituality will be full of concepts. Unless he is made to dance and jump about he will not understand the futility of the mind and its concepts. Only then will he come here to listen to these talks.

-Nisargadatta Maharaj

From Beyond Freedom, pp. 59-60

The Great Forgetting – Jean Klein

The whole problem of dying is based on the premise that we are born and that this born something or someone dies. So the first step is this question: Who or what is born and who or what dies?

The idea of being born is just that, an idea. It is second-hand information. It is what our mothers told us. If we ask ourselves, “Do I know that I am born?” and we look closely, we will see that, yes, a perception is born and dies, but we cannot say, “I am born.”

It is vital in all genuine exploration to become free from second-hand information, free from common sense. If we begin by questioning the questions, we will find that we are led to question the questioner. This is the beginning of self-inquiry.

When we let go of second-hand information, we are face to face with bare facts, precepts rather than concepts. When we leave aside day-dreaming, hypothesis and the taken- for- granted, we are left with the core of the problem, which I would say in this case is: Why speak of death before knowing what life is? Because if we don’t know what life is, how can we even begin to talk of death? So let us first talk about life.

The expressions of life appear and disappear in our awareness. We know what time is, we know what space is, we know what an experience is. How could we know these things if we did not, in some way, also know what timeless, spaceless, experienceless means? Can we know white without reference to black? Can we know dark without reference to light? We know impermanence because in some way we “know” permanence. This permanence is not an experience in time and space. It is not a condition. It does not belong to existence because existence is in time and space. It is essentially nothing, yet in some way we refer to this nothingness very often. It is the background from which we function. It has nothing to do with succession, with past and future. It is cause less and cannot be born.

When we discover this background, the problem of death becomes completely meaningless. When this timeless awareness from which we function unconsciously becomes aware— aware of itself—, then we know that what we are is timeless and spaceless. We know what life is, and it does not enter our mind to even think of death because we live knowingly in this timeless background, in the now, and succession is only an expression of this now.

The real question then is: how can I come to know life so that death is meaningless? I would say that we can never know, in an objective way, what life is. We can only be life, be the knowing. This knowing is an instantaneous apperception, free from space and time, in which there is not a knower and something known. It is the awakening of life in its fullness.

This awakening is our real birth. The phenomenal birth is only an accident and it remains an accident as long as our real nature, our real birth, is not explored. Once we are awake in life, we are profoundly aware that we are not a conceptual object. The object and the reflex to objectify oneself does not arise. It is a state of profound openness, a total absence of being anything, where there is simply life, “isness”. It is timeless and dimensionless, and cannot be objectified, that is, experienced. It is not born and what is not born cannot die. In this original non-state, the idea of death does not even occur.

The fear of dying comes from mis-taking oneself to be the body-mind. This mistake is a thought only. So really the fear of dying comes from the capacity to think. When there is no thought, there is no space and time. Space, time, coming, going, past, future, exist only in thought. They have no autonomous reality. All the fear created by society and religions around so-called dying is mind-fabrication. But it is only an object which can be afraid and you are not an object.

Dying on the biological level does not create fear. Fear is in the mind, not in the body. The fear of dying is only anticipation that “I” will disappear. The idea of a final disappearing destroys all security for the “I” image. But this “You,” “me”, this self-image is also a thought construct built up from memory. The powerful instinct for what is wrongly called self-preservation (the term shows how we have identified with the body-mind) is merely biological survival. Life is desireless but the body-mind is an expression of life, so one could say that the desire to stay alive comes from life itself. As an expression of life, the body accomplishes the course inherent to its nature.

The real meaning of death and dying is completely different from that usually understood by these words. When one knows the continuum that is life, all perceptions (of which our body is but one) are felt as appearing and disappearing in awareness or consciousness. This appearing and disappearing is the real meaning of birth and death. We are born every moment a thought or sensation appears and we die every moment the concept or perception disappears. We die every evening before going to sleep, and we are born every morning. So we need to become acquainted with this dying, this letting-go of the objective world.

We should ask ourselves in our most profound intimacy:
What is there before the thought appears? What is there when the thought disappears? What is there when the body goes to sleep and before it wakes up? When we observe closely, we will find, not the absence we took for granted, but a presence, a presence that cannot, however, be objectified. It is too early, it is our nearest.

If we really know how to go to sleep we will know how to die. We will be already familiar with dying, already familiar with the dissolution of the born. To do this, one must, before going to sleep, lay aside all qualifications. We must become as naked psychologically as we are physically. This means that we put aside all opinions, thought, worries, ideas before we go to sleep. It is an offering of all that we are not. In letting go there is an expansion of mind and body and in all expansion is the fore-feeling of reality, our globality. This should be done each time we sleep until we find that, before the body wakes up in the morning, we are. Presence is already there.

It is better not to postpone this letting-go of the personal entity and all its qualifications until the actual moment of death. Otherwise, it is necessary to have someone who knows life to assist in the final letting go. This is supposedly the priest’s role in the last rites. The function of the priest, shaman, lama or other, is to help one go knowingly through the threshold from the object world to the objectless world. It is to help the dying one forget all the residues of the person and so be open to a new dimension of life. It is an offering back to life of all the expressions that life gave us temporarily. Then what remains is original consciousness.

But whoever is assisting someone over the threshold must be qualified to do so. This simply means that the personality must be absent. In assisting someone to die, one must die with them. The moment you die with the dying one, he or she is stimulated by your dying, by your giving up of all qualifications. Timeless presence, love, has the power to free the dying person from the residues of identification with the phenomenal world. There is no place at all in this assistance for feelings of sadness, pity, fear, nor is there room for talking. All this keeps the dying one grasping onto the objective world.

Ideally, the best way to die is in silence. But when one is steeped in the rituals of a religious tradition, these may help one, in the absence of a qualified priest or real friend, to let go of specific attachments. But the rites must be impersonal, give no hold to the person as, for example, certain sounds draw one beyond the world of sentiment and emotivity.

The way to come to this letting-go is, as I said, the same as before going to sleep. Everything that appears in the moment is seen as a fact. One takes note of the fact without analysis or interference and feels the welcoming in this unconditional taking-note. When we face, in this way, everything that appears, then the openness, attention, in which the perception was welcomed, comes back to us. We find ourselves in the light. This is a natural giving up without intention. So, whether we are dying (and we must!) or assisting someone to die, it is the same procedure. We take a knowing stand in consciousness.

It is crucial to come to know death while still alive. The quality of life is completely different for one who knows letting-go in the waking state. This is the real meaning of the word death. It is the real significance of the word sacrifice. As Meister Eckhart said, “God is when I am not.” We are only born after the death of all that is personal. Only when we are awake in nothingness can we speak of fullness.

But there is another reason for not leaving the real dying until the last moment. There is the real danger that one will remain stuck to the expressions of life and, at the moment of death, emphasize the object, so
that one is taken passively to what is beyond. Passively here means “not knowingly.”

The question may arise: What difference does it make how I die? Consciousness is not affected by birth or death. There is not one moment without consciousness, so after the death of the body, consciousness is
always there. But how one dies does make a difference, because after the death of the person, although consciousness is, it can be awake—conscious of itself—or not. Generally, after the death of the body-mind, this being consciousness is passive, it is not consciousness conscious of itself. What is of utmost importance, therefore, is to be knowingly consciousness and this can only come about before the body dies. Since most of us only know ourselves as objects and do not know ourselves as consciousness, few,
after death, dissolve in consciousness which knows itself.

Consciousness which knows itself is fulfilled and does not look for further expression. As the residues of the body disperse in global energy, consciousness dissolves in its own light. There is nobody to go
anywhere and nowhere to go.

All ideas about different states and stages of the dissolution of energy are, therefore, meaningless to the awakened one and a hindrance to the one who is in the process of letting go of all qualifications and attachments. Such concepts cause confusion. They are mind-constructs since there is no one left to know such things. As long as there are such ideas, there is still a somebody to know. And as long as there is still a somebody to know, there has been no real dying.

It is possible that in one who is still fixed on the objective world, identified with the personality, children, spouse, money, vocation and so on, it may be difficult for the energy to dissolve. It remains concentrated. That is why there are rituals of various kinds which help dissolve the energy and aid the
giving up of all hold on the phenomenal plane. And it is why sometimes, though the body is not visible, there may still be residues of the personality. One should accept these and take several sessions to systematically empty oneself of all ideas, memories and feelings for the dead person. It is a process of elimination. Then one sees that there is much more to the relationship than one could remember. Memory belongs to our minds, but the real relationship is not limited by memory.

The problem of physical suffering during dying needs to be addressed because the question naturally arises as to how one can come to a real letting-go in the face of acute pain. The first thing to clarify is that
pain must be seen as an object like any other, from the perspective that what we are fundamentally is not an object and cannot be afraid or feel pain. So we must be absolutely clear about our profound non-involvement
in the events surrounding the sensation we call pain or illness.

We cannot say, “I am afraid, I am in pain, I am dying,” because the “I” is unchanged and unchanging. It is the body which feels sensation and the mind that creates fear. Once there is clarity about what one is not
—the body and its sensations, the mind and its thoughts—the suffering is dramatically reduced. Then the sensation, the illness can be faced squarely without psychological interference.

Pain, like every object, is a pointer to our real nature. It must be seen objectively, in front of us as if the body belonged to another. In objectifying it, we are extricated from it, no longer drowned in the illness,
the sensation. And in the psychological space thus created, there will be a glimpse of real freedom from the burden. It is not enough to vaguely note this brief feeling of detachment. We must become truly interested in this feeling of freedom, that is, make it, in turn, an object of attention, sustain and live in this free feeling. With it comes the conviction that one is neither the healthy nor the unhealthy body.

Illness and death are an opportunity, par excellence, to clarify the fundamental error of our existence: that we have identified awareness, consciousness, life, with its object and it is through this mis-take that
all conflict and suffering arise. Illness then is a gift, a gift to help us realize more quickly what we are not. It gives us an opportunity that should not be refused: to be what we are.

Our living in wholeness stimulates our surroundings, our family and friends. I would say it stimulates the life in them. Knowingly or unknowingly, they share life with us and, at death, neither we nor they will
feel isolated. This feeling of life will remain and continue to stimulate them because life is eternal and in it all are oneness.

But generally family and friends do not have an honest relation with the dying one. They continue, in some way, to hold onto, to try to save, the person. They do not let him or her meet the light. This is because relationships in the family are of object to object, person to person. So it is better not to have the family present at the moment of dying if they cannot perform the last rites, be priests, so to speak, that is, die with you.

It is important that the dying one offer up the expressions of life consciously. However, in certain circumstances, clarity may be impaired by the intensity of the pain or the use of medications to relieve it. At the very moment of the final release, nature usually takes itself in charge and pain does not cloud awareness, so when assisting a dying person, a doctor has a great responsibility. First and foremost, he or she must represent health, life and, like the priest, prepare the patient for the final release. The doctor
must also die with the patient. All his talent is needed to first help the patient distance himself from identifying with the object, and then to see precisely how much medication is necessary to make this distancing possible. The patient must retain a profound awareness of what is happening.

Either prolonging life artificially or taking one’s life prematurely is a deep lack of respect for all life has given us. It is a lack of gratitude, a profound ignorance. Life gives us the opportunity for a real birth and all interfering is a refusal of this opportunity. When one awakes in the real “I,” the destiny of all that we are not no longer has any meaning. Pain, an accident, death, is on the film, but we are the light which illuminates the film. So, thinking about the fate of the body and trying to interfere is a mark of ego-centredness and a lack of love.

Only an ego can have concepts and intentions, and as long as we live as the contracted ego we will have a false view of what life is. What we generally call “my life” belongs only to the mind and thus appears to take place in succession. The illusion of life as time gives us the impression that we can
interfere. This wrong seeing is sometimes corrected before dying when there is a panoramic memory of one’s whole life. This is because there is a sudden letting-go of the mind’s control, of the channelling of one’s being into strict succession in time and space. In this sudden letting-go we are ejected into the timeless and facts appear to us without all the intervening thoughts that generally qualify every fact. This panorama usually occurs at a crisis when there is a very dramatic letting-go. In a natural death one is
gently dissolved in being.

Real death is, then, the death of conceptual living. Life is presence, always in the here and now, the moment itself. In the absence of the “person” there is simply living, non-volitional acting. Non-volitional living is living in happiness. It is only in non-intentional living that there is acceptance, and it is only in accepting, in welcoming, that all the elements of a situation can be clearly seen. When we live in accepting, illness has no hold, no substance, and we have the greatest possibility of getting better.

All the changes the body undergoes are hypothetical and transitional, but there is nothing hypothetical about what we really are—consciousness. It is prior to body. It is prior to thought. It is between two concepts or percepts. It is silent awareness, nameless, without attribute. It is the total giving up of all qualifications, freedom from all identifications. It is the eternal presence we take for absence. When one lives knowingly in this presence, there is no death.

Then when you see the moment to go has come, and you have learned how, I would even say learned the technique of giving up, it is extremely beautiful. Dying then is thanking, a thanking for having had the opportunity to know life, to be the knowing, to be thanking itself. In the great forgetting of all that we are not, dying is the total release into openness, openness to the light.

-Jean Klein

Excerpt from The Book of Listening, pp. 67-75

An Extraordinary Intoxication – Osho

It feels to me that my body is like a cage or bottle, in which a very powerful lion is imprisoned and he has been sleeping there for many lives, but now he has been awakened by your harassment. He is hungry and very impatient to be freed from the cage. Many times during the day he becomes enraged and roars, he leaps up roaring. Every cell of my body trembles from this roaring and leaping up, and the forehead and upper part of the head begin to burst with energy. After this I fall deep into an extraordinary intoxication and ecstasy. Then the lion becomes a little quiet, shakes, walks slowly and goes on growling. And then in kirtan or in remembering you he dances ecstatically. Please explain what is going on? 

Yoga Chinmaya has asked.

… what is happening is good. It is happening just as it should. Don’t be frightened by it. Let it happen. Help it in every way. A unique process has begun, whose final crescendo is liberation.

We are certainly imprisoned in the body – a lion locked up in a cage. Confined for such a long time that the lion has forgotten his own roar. Confined for such a long time that the lion has started thinking the cage is his home. No only this, he has started thinking, “I am the cage. I am the body!”

A hit is needed. That’s why you are with me, so I can hit – and you wake up.

These words that I say to you are not mere words. Think of them as arrows. They will pierce you. Sometimes you will be angry with me too. Because everything was moving along peacefully, comfortably and suddenly there is confusion. But there is no other way to wake you up; you will have to pass through pain.

When energy rises within, the body will not be able to bear it. The body has not been made to endure it. The capacity of the body is very small. The energy is vast. As if one wants to enclose the whole sky in a small courtyard… so when the energy awakens many disturbances will arise in the body. The head will be splitting with pain.

And sometimes it happens that even after enlightenment disturbances continue in the body. It is completely natural before enlightenment, because the body is not ready. It is as if you put one thousand candles of electricity into an electric line that has the capacity to carry one hundred candles – it will rattle and catch fire! It is just the same when the energy which had been sound asleep within you awakens – it manifests and your body is not ready for it. Your body is ready to accept your being a beggar; it cannot accept your being an emperor. The body has limits, you have no limits.

… it will be jolted, storms will arise. Before enlightenment happens, before samadhi, these shocks are completely natural. And sometimes it happens that samadhi happens and the shocks continue coming, the storms continue, because the body was not able to get ready.

This is what happened in Krishnamurti’s case. The process continued forty years after attaining the ultimate. The body could not absorb the shock. Krishnamurti will wake up in the middle of the night shouting and screaming. He starts to growl – really growling. And for forty years he has had a headache that doesn’t go away, it comes and goes but it never totally leaves him. Sometimes the pain is so strong that it feels his head will burst.

From the standpoint of the body, these last forty years have been years of great difficulty for Krishnamurti. Sometimes it happens this way. But usually the body becomes ready as samadhi happens. But with Krishnamurti the body could not adjust because samadhi had been forced. The thinkers that brought Krishnamurti up, those Theosophists worked hard, made untiring efforts to bring on samadhi. Their aspiration was to give birth to a world teacher. The world needs it – if a Buddha can be incarnated….

If Krishnamurti had worked only by his own efforts, perhaps he would have needed one or two more births. But then this problem would not have arisen. The worked was forced: what needed two lifetimes to happen, happened instantly. It happened but the body could not get ready. It happened suddenly when the body was not ready. So there have been forty years of physical suffering. Even now Krishnamurti growls at night and wakes up again and again from his sleep. The energy won’t let him sleep. He screams!

It seems amazing that a person who has achieved the ultimate should scream at night. But the cause is clear. An enlightenment that should have taken two lifetimes to happen, was forced too quickly. Because of this the body was not ready and the process continues. It has happened but this process continues. He has reached home but the body remains behind, still being dragged along.

The being has reached home, the body has not reached. The pain and suffering of this dragging continues.

Don’t be frightened by what’s happening. These are the first indications of samadhi, the first steps of samadhi. Take them as auspicious, accept them happily. If you are ready to accept them as blessings, then very soon they will slowly become quiet. And as soon as the body begins to accept, begins to cooperate, the readiness and capacity of the body increase.

You have called out to the infinite, so you will have to become infinite. You have challenged the vastness, so you will have to become vast.

There is a very unique story in the Old Testament – the story of Jacob. Jacob was seeking god. He distributed all his wealth. He sent all his beloved friends, his wife, his children, his servants – he sent them all far away. He was waiting for god on the deserted bank of a river. God arrived.

But it was very strange – Jacob started wrestling with god. Does anyone wrestle with god? But Jacob started struggling with god. It is said that they fought the whole night. As morning approached, as dawn was about to come Jacob was defeated. When god was about to leave him, Jacob fell at god’s feet and said, “Please give me your blessing.”

God said, “What is your name?”

Jacob told him his name.

God said, “Today you have become Israel” – the name that the Jews are known by – “From today on you are Israel. Now you are no longer Jacob, Jacob has died.” – Just as I change your name when I give you sannyas initiation. The old is gone.

God told Jacob: “Jacob has died, from now on you are Israel.”

This story is from the Old Testament. There is no other story of someone fighting with god. But there is a great truth in this story. When that ultimate energy descends, what happens is almost like a fight. And when the ultimate experience happens and you are defeated by the divine and the body is vanquished and you accept defeat – then your final initiation happens. In that moment divine blessings shower on you. Then you are new. That is when you taste the nectar of the eternal for the first time.

Yoga Chinmaya is almost there where Jacob must have been. It is difficult to say how long the night may be. It is hard to say how long the struggle will last. No prediction can be made. But this struggle is auspicious.

Cooperate with this energy. This lion inside that wants freedom – it is you. This energy that wants to rise towards the head, that wants to go from the sex center to the crown chakra, that wants to create a path – it is you. For many lives it has been subdued and lying coiled up, now it is starting to raise its hood. You are fortunate, you are lucky. With this you are approaching the final blessing.

Your real transformation will happen.

Krishnamurti has written in his notebook, whenever my head is splitting, when at night I cannot sleep and the screaming and shouting come and something inside me growls – after all this is over a unique experience comes. After this a great peace descends. Blessings shower in every direction. Everywhere lotuses and more lotuses are blooming.

Exactly this is starting to happen to Chinmaya. It is good.

After this I fall deep into an extraordinary intoxication and ecstasy.

When the energy arises after it has had its struggle, and the body becomes a little ready, then a new ecstasy will come: there is growth. You have come up a little. You have transcended a little. You have come out of the prison a little, you have found open sky. You will be fulfilled. You will dance, you will dance for joy.

Then the lion becomes a little quiet, shakes, walks slowly and goes on growling. And then in kirtan or in remembering you he dances ecstatically.

The lion wants to dance. There isn’t room enough to dance in the body. More space is needed for dancing – what space is available in the body? Dance can only happen outside of the body. This is why if you dance totally you will find you no longer remain a body. In the ultimate grace of dance, at the ultimate height, you are out of the body. The body goes on turning, goes on moving rhythmically but you are outside, you are no longer inside.

This is why I have invariably included dance in my methods of meditation, because there is nothing more miraculous for meditation than dancing. If you dance fully, if you dance totally, then in that dance your being comes out of the body. The body will go on moving in rhythm but you will experience that you are out of the body. And then your real dance begins: below, the body will go on dancing; above, you will dance. The body on the earth, you in the sky! The body in the earthly, you in the celestial. The body will dance the dance of matter, you will dance the dance of consciousness. You will become Nataraj, the king of the dance.

You ask, “Please explain what is going on?

The unprecedented is happening, the wondrous is happening, the rare is happening! What is happening is not to be explained, it is to be experienced. Whatever I say will not help you understand this experience, at the most it can help you become capable of accepting it more easily. Accept it with joy. Do not repress it.

Naturally the idea will come to suppress it thinking, “What madness is this, I am growling like a lion? What is this roaring? People will think I am mad!” So naturally the idea will come to suppress it, to hide it – don’t let anyone know. What will they say?

Don’t worry. Don’t bother about what anyone says. If people say you are mad, then go mad! Has anyone become enlightened without going mad? Give your attention to your interiority. If bliss is coming from this, if ecstasy is coming, if wine is raining then don’t worry. This world has nothing so valuable as this to give to you. So don’t make any compromise with the world. Don’t sell an inch of your being, even if in exchange you will get the whole universe as your kingdom. Jesus has said, what use is it if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? If you save your soul, even if you lose the whole world you have everything.

Have courage, be daring. Let your trust, your faith in yourself grow. Soon your body will start gradually accepting it. Then the roaring will disappear. Then only dance will remain. Then the lion will not suffer, because the lion will have found a path: when he wants to go out he can go out, when he wants to come in he can come in. Then this body is no longer a jail, then this body becomes a place to relax. When you want to come in, come inside; when you want to go out, go outside.

When you can go out and in as easily as you come and go from your house… it is cool, you feel cold; you go outside and sit in the sunshine. Then the sunshine increases, the sun climbs high, it starts getting hot, you start sweating – you get up and come in. Just as you come and go from your house, then the house is not a prison – if you are sitting in prison you don’t have the possibility to come out or go in whenever your heart feels like it. In jail you are a prisoner; at home you are a master. When your lion can dance outside, can fly in the sky, can play with the moon and stars – then there is no problem. Then there is no fight with the body. Then the body is a place for relaxation. When you get tired you can return inside and rest. Then there is no enmity with the body either. Then the body is a temple.

-Osho

From Enlightenment: The Only Revolution, Chapter Eight

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

You can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

On August 15, 2019, Sambuddha Swami Yoga Chinmaya left the body behind and disappeared into the Great Mystery. Read the intimate tribute, Wake Up Into No-Mind.

You can read more about Yoga Chinmaya here.

What is Morality? – Osho

Please talk about morality.

Shantam Divyama, the question about morality is immensely significant, because morality is not that which has been told to you for centuries. All the religions have exploited the idea of morality. They have been teaching in different ways, but the basic foundation is the same: unless you become moral, ethical, you cannot become religious.

By morality they mean that you have to be truthful, you have to be honest, you have to be charitable, you have to be compassionate, you have to be nonviolent. In one word, all these great values have first to be present in you, only then you can move towards being religious.

This whole concept is upside down. According to me, unless you are religious you cannot be moral.

Religion comes first, morality is only a by-product. If you make the by-product into the goal of human character, you will create such a troubled, miserable humanity – and for such a good cause. You are bringing the cart before the bullocks – neither the bullocks can move, nor the cart can move; both are stuck.

How can a man be truthful if he does not know what truth is? How can a man be honest if he does not know even who he is? How can a man be compassionate if he does not know the source of love within himself? From where will he get the compassion? All that he can do in the name of morality is to become a hypocrite, a pretender. And there is nothing more ugly than to be a hypocrite. He can pretend, he can try hard, but everything will remain superficial and skin-deep. Just scratch him a little bit, and you will find all the animal instincts fully alive, ready to take revenge whenever they can get the opportunity.

Putting morality before religion is one of the greatest crimes that religions have committed against humanity.

The very idea brings a repressed human being. And a repressed human being is sick, psychologically split, constantly in a fight with himself, trying to do things which he does not want to do.

Morality should be very relaxed and easy – just like your shadow; you don’t have to drag it with you, it simply comes on its own. But this has not happened; what has happened is a psychologically sick humanity. Everybody is tense, because whatever you are doing there is a conflict about whether it is right or wrong. Your nature goes in one direction; your conditioning goes just in the opposite direction, and a house divided cannot stand for long. So everybody is somehow pulling himself together; otherwise the danger is always there, just by your side, of having a nervous breakdown.

I do not teach morality at all. Morality should come on its own accord. I teach you directly the experience of your own being. As you become more and more silent, serene, calm and quiet, as you start understanding you own consciousness, as your inner being becomes more and more centered, your actions will reflect morality. It will not be something that you decide to do; it will be something as natural as roses on a rose bush. It is not that the rose bush is doing great austerities, and fasting, and praying to God, and disciplining itself according to the Ten Commandments; the rose bush is doing nothing. The rose bush has just to be healthy, nourished, and the flowers will come in their own time, with great beauty, effortlessly.

A morality that comes with effort is immoral. A morality that comes without effort is the only morality there is.

That’s why I don’t talk about morality at all, because it is morality that has created so many problems for humanity – about everything. They have given you ready-made ideas about what is right, what is wrong. In life, ready-made ideas don’t work, because life goes on changing, just like a river – taking new turns, moving into new territories… from the mountains to the valleys, from the valleys to the plains, from the plains to the ocean.

Heraclitus is right when he says, “You cannot step in the same river twice,” because it is always flowing. The second time you step in, it is different water. I agree with Heraclitus so much that I say unto you, you cannot step in the same river even once – because when your feet are touching its surface, the water underneath is flowing; as your feet are going deeper, the water on the surface is flowing; and by the time you have touched the bottom, so much water has gone… it is not the same water, that your step can not be said to be entering into the same river.

Life is just like the river – a flux. And you are all carrying fixed dogmas. You always find yourself unfit, because if you follow your dogmas, you have to go against life; if you follow life, you have to go against your dogmas.

Hence my whole effort is to make your morality spontaneous. You should be conscious and alert, and respond to every situation with absolute consciousness. Then whatever you do is right. It is not a question of actions being right or wrong, it is a question of consciousness – whether you are doing it consciously or unconsciously like a robot.

My whole philosophy is based on growing your consciousness higher, deeper, to the point when there is no unconsciousness inside you; you have become a pillar of light. In this light, in this clarity, to do anything wrong becomes impossible. It is not that you have to avoid doing it; even if you want to do it, you cannot. And in this consciousness, whatsoever you do becomes a blessing.

Your action out of consciousness is moral, out of unconsciousness is immoral… it may be the same action.

I am reminded of an old story: A king was getting old, and he told his only son, who was going to succeed him, “Before I die you have to learn the art of morality, because a king has to be a model for everyone else in the kingdom; nothing should go wrong in your actions. So I am sending you today to my old master. I am old, he is even older than me, so don’t waste time. Learn everything intensely, totally, without wasting a single moment.”

The prince went to the master and he was surprised – surprised by the fact that the master was a master of archery: “And what has archery to do with morality? Has my father gone senile?” But he had come to the mountains, so he thought, “It is better to see the old man at least once.”

He went in. The old man was immensely beautiful and graceful, surrounded by an aura of silence and peace. He had been thinking he was going to meet a warrior, an archer, but here was a sage. He was getting even more puzzled. He asked the old man, “Are you the master archer?” He said, “You are right.”

The prince said, “I have been sent by my father, the king, who is your disciple, to learn morality from you. I cannot see any connection at all between morality and archery.” The old man laughed and he said, “Soon you will see.”

The prince said, “I am in a hurry. My father is old, and before he dies I want to fulfill his desire.” The master said, “Then get lost, because these things cannot be learned in a hurry. Patience, infinite patience is the very foundation of learning any art, whether it is archery or it is morality.”

Looking at the old man’s eyes the prince remained, and he said, “When are my lessons going to start?” The old man said, “Just now they have started. Patience is your first lesson. And about the second lesson I should make you aware. The second lesson is that you will be cleaning the floors, cleaning in the garden, collecting the old leaves, throwing them out. Be very careful, because I may hit you with a wooden sword at any moment. Although it is wooden, it hits really hard. It has given many people fractures.”

The prince said, “But I have come here to learn morality, not to get fractures!” The old man said, “That will come in its own time, this is only the beginning.” Puzzled, confused… but he knew his father, that if he went back empty-handed the old man would be really enraged. He had to learn. On both sides two mad, old people…. “And this man is trying to teach me morality by hitting me! But let us see what happens.”

And the master started hitting him. He would be washing the floor, and suddenly a hit would come. He would be cleaning the path in the garden, and suddenly a hit would come. But he became surprised, within a week, that a certain intuition was arising in him. Even before the old man had approached him, he would jump out of his way. Whatever he was doing, some part of his consciousness was continuously alert the old man, where he was. And the old man used to walk so silently that it was almost impossible to remain conscious. But he started being conscious, because getting so many hits, his whole body was hurting.

It continued for one month. But in one month he became so capable that the old man was no longer able to hit him. The old man said, “You are really the son of your father. He was also very keen, intense, and total in learning; it won’t take much time. Your first lesson is finished today, because for twenty-four hours I have been trying to hit you, but you have been found always alert, and saved yourself.

“From tomorrow morning you will have to be more alert, because the wooden sword will be replaced by a real sword. The wooden sword at the most could have given you a fracture, but the real sword may even cut off your head. So more awareness will be needed.”

But this one month had been of such great learning… he was never aware that inside him there was so much possibility of intuitive awareness. He was trained, well-trained intellectually, but he had no idea of any intuitiveness. And he was not afraid even of the real sword, because he said, “It is the same. If you cannot hit me with the wooden sword, you cannot hit me with the real sword either. It makes no difference to me.”

For one month the old man was trying in every possible way to hit him with the real sword, and naturally the prince became more and more alert – had to become, there was no other alternative.

And one complete month passed, and the old man could not even touch him. He was very happy, and he said, “I am immensely satisfied. Now the third lesson. Up to now I was hitting you only while you were awake. From this evening, remember that in the night when you are asleep I may hit you at any time. Again it will start with the wooden sword.”

The prince became a little worried – awake it was one thing, but when you are asleep? But these two months had given him tremendous respect, trust in the old man and his art, and also a confidence about his own intuition. And he thought, “If he says it, then perhaps intuition never sleeps.”

And that proved to be the truth. The body sleeps, the mind sleeps, but the intuition is always awake; its very nature is awareness, but we never look at it He had to look, he had to remain alert, even asleep.

The old man started hitting him, and a few times he got really bad hits. But he was grateful, not angry, because after each hit he was becoming more and more alert, even in sleep – just like a small flame, something remained alive in him, alert and watchful. And just in one month he was again able to protect himself even in his sleep. As the old man would come close, very silently, making no noise, no footstep sounds, the young man would jump up out of his bed. He may have been fast asleep, but something remained awake.

And in the next lesson the real sword in appeared his sleep. The next morning the old man said, “Now the last lesson – I will be hitting you with a real sword. And you know my sword, just a single hit and you are finished. You have to gather all your consciousness.” The young man was a little worried, a little afraid, because the game was becoming more and more dangerous.

In the early morning sun the old man was reading a book, sitting under a tree in the rising sun, and the young man was gathering the old leaves from the garden. Suddenly a thought came to him, “This old man has been hitting me for months; it will be a great idea… I should try to hit him and see whether he is alert or not.”

And he was just twenty or twenty-five feet away, when he was just thinking this in his mind – he had not done anything yet – and the old man said, “Boy, I am very old, and your teaching is not finished yet. Don’t have such ideas.” The prince could not believe it. He came and touched his feet, and said, “Forgive me, but I had not done anything, I was only thinking… just an idea.”

The old man said, “When you become fully alert even the sound of your thoughts is heard. It is the question of awareness. You don’t have to do anything, you just think and I will know. And soon you will become capable of the same – just a little more patience .”

And soon the day came when he started suddenly becoming aware that the old man was thinking of hitting him… for no reason. The old man was sitting reading his book, but the idea came so clearly that he went to the master, and said, “So you are going to hit me again? Just a few seconds before I heard the idea.” The master said, “You are right, I was just thinking to finish the page and come. Now there is no need for you to be here. I know your father is old and is waiting for you.”

But the young man said, “What happened about morality?” The old man said, ”Forget all about it.

A man who is so alert can only be moral. He cannot harm anybody, he cannot steal, he cannot be unkind, cruel; he will be naturally loving and compassionate. You forget all about morality!”

This awareness is what I call religiousness. The prince went back. The father was waiting and waiting, and he said, “Have you learned the whole art of archery?” The young man said, ”You sent me to learn the art of morality. From where have you got the idea of archery?” The king said, ”I sent you to learn morality, archery was only a device.”

There are many devices, many ways and methods of meditation to create awareness, to wake up your sleeping intuition. And once it is awake, then there is no need to tell you what is good, what is moral, what is bad, what is immoral; your awareness will be decisive on its own. And it will be spontaneous, fresh and young, and always to the point, because all principles become dead. And if you try to fit your life according to principles, you also become dead.

That’s what has happened to Christians, to Hindus, to Mohammedans, to Jainas, to all the people around the world – they are living according to dead principles. And those dead principles don’t fit with the reality – they cannot fit. Only a spontaneous consciousness…. The difference is something like this: you have a photograph of yourself of the last year, or maybe of your childhood, and if you don’t know that it is your picture of your childhood, you may not even recognize it – because you have changed so much. That picture is dead, it is not growing; you are growing.

Morality is like photographs. Religion is like a mirror. If a child is facing it, it reflects the child; if an old man is facing it, it reflects the old man. It is always spontaneous, in the moment, responding to reality. A conscious human being is just like a mirror – he reflects reality and responds accordingly. His response is moral.

So I am changing the whole emphasis from action to awareness.

And if more and more people can become aware, the world will be a totally different place. A man of awareness will not go to war. Although religious scriptures say that to sacrifice yourself for your nation, for your religion is virtuous, a man of consciousness cannot follow that dead idea. To him, the nation itself is an immoral idea, because it divides humanity – and war is certainly immoral. You may find good names, good words – sometimes it is religion, sometimes it is political ideology, sometimes it is Christianity, sometimes it is communism – good ideas, but the reality is turning human beings into butchers.

You are killing people whom you have never even met. And you know perfectly well that just as you have left a wife behind, crying, who will be waiting for you, just as you have left your old mother and father back at home, hoping that their son comes back alive, just as you have left small children… the man you are killing has also a wife, has also children, has also an old father and mother. And he has done no harm to you; neither have you done any harm to him.

If the world becomes a little more conscious, soldiers will throw away their arms and hug each other, sit down together under a tree and gossip. The politicians cannot force all the armies to kill, to murder. Neither can the popes, the religious leaders convince anybody that for God’s sake you have to kill. Strange… because God has created everybody. Whomsoever you are killing, you are killing God’s creation. If it is true that God created the world, then there should be no war – it is one family; there should be no nations.

These are immoral things: the nations, the religions, anything that discriminates against people and creates conflict.

A man of awareness will not be greedy, because he will be able to see that his greed will create poverty; and the people who will be starving and dying through poverty are his brothers and sisters. It does not matter whether they live in Ethiopia or in India; it does not matter whether their skin is white or black.

Authentic morality is a by-product of consciousness. And the art of consciousness is religion. There is no Hindu religion, there is no Christian religion, there is no Mohammedan religion; there is only one religion, and that is the religion of consciousness – becoming so aware, so enlightened and awakened, that you have eyes to see clearly and can respond according to that clarity.

A man of consciousness cannot be deceived by words. Mohammedans say that if you die in a religious war… how can there be a religious war? War is basically irreligious. But Christians, Mohammedans, and all other religions say that if you die in a religious war, your reward will be great in the other world. For this immoral act of killing people, you will be rewarded. But beautiful words “religious war”, cover it up.

A man of awareness sees deeply and penetratingly through your words. Neither your God can deceive him, nor your holy books can deceive him, nor your nations, nor your politicians. He lives according to his consciousness. He has an individuality, a very crystal clear individuality – a pure mirror, unclouded by anything, with no dust covering it.

But for thousands of years just mere words, and sometimes such stupid, trivial causes, have been killing people. Christianity in the middle ages burnt thousands of women. They created a fiction – the fiction of the devil. There is no devil. There is no God! But people have lived in unconsciousness, and whatsoever the leaders, the so-called saints, go on saying, people have been told to believe: if you don’t believe you will suffer in hell; if you believe you will be rewarded.

People’s intelligence has been destroyed. They have been kept retarded. Otherwise it would be impossible to burn thousands of living women for a strange reason – that these women are having sexual intercourse with the devil. Now nobody is having sexual intercourse with the devil. Only in the middle ages, suddenly, the devil became so much interested in women, and that too, only in Europe…!

A special court was created by the pope, so that if anybody suspects any woman, that she is having some friendship with the devil, you have just to report to the court and the woman will be immediately imprisoned, tortured. And the torture was so intense. They had invented special methods of torture.

Just five, six years ago, something went wrong with my back. There were so many body workers in the commune, and they all tried, but nobody succeeded in fixing it. Finally the best expert in the world from London was called, and he suggested a machine called traction. The machine was brought, and I was put on the machine. And while they were fixing their belts, I remembered that I have read that this traction machine was created in the middle ages by the Christian priests, to torture women. It pulls your legs to one side and your hands to another side. Naturally it pulls your backbone – so if the backbone has slipped somewhere it comes into line.

It was just an accidental invention. One old woman they were torturing had been suffering for twenty years from a bad back, and after their traction, she could not believe it when she stood up – her pain was gone. That’s how the traction machine was transferred from the church to the hospital. It is really torturous, and if you are using it just to torture, then you can go on pulling…. Sometimes even hands were broken, legs were taken out. The torture was so much that the women thought it was better to confess, because while they went on saying, “I have nothing to do with the devil, I don’t know the devil,” the torture continued. It would stop only when you confess that you are having sexual intercourse with the devil.

Thousands of women confessed that they have been having sexual intercourse with the devil. And once they had confessed before the court, then there was no problem. The punishment was to burn the woman alive at the crossroads in the middle of the city.

Nobody ever bothered about whether there was any devil. It was just a word – nobody had seen the devil. If you had tortured these women to make a confession that they are having intercourse with God, they would have confessed that too! There is a limit to what one can tolerate suffering.

Just mere words… but why have people enjoyed killing, suffering, torturing? Because they themselves are unhappy… so unhappy, so miserable. They cannot see anybody else being blissful, being joyous. They want everybody else to suffer more than they are suffering.

Morality has been a very good device to torture people: you don’t have to torture them, they torture themselves – even to make love to your own wife is a sin. They don’t say it about somebody else’s wife, sex is sin; and anything connected with sex becomes sin. Now sex, is something natural – there is no way to avoid it. So you are putting man into a dilemma: fixing in his mind that sex is immoral, and giving him a nature which is sexual and sensuous.

It has been discovered that millions of men around the world suffer from migraine after making love. And I was reading a report of a Christian scientist – because he is Christian, his mind is conditioned himself. He is trying to find all kinds of causes why men suffer from migraines.

He has been working on the project for one year continually. Just now he has produced his report, giving many, many causes – physiological, chemical – and the reality is so simple, there is no need of any investigation. The reality is that you have divided men’s mind into two parts. One part says, “What you are doing is wrong. Don’t do it”; the other part says, “It is impossible to resist the temptation. I’m going to do it.” These two parts start struggling, conflicting.

Migraine is nothing but a conflict, a deep conflict, in your mind. No aboriginal suffers from migraine after making love. Catholics suffer more than anybody else, because their conditioning is so deep that it creates a split in their mind. What they have been saying for centuries is without any base, without any evidence, but they go on repeating it. And once… even if a lie is repeated too often, it starts looking as if it is true.

One should be very much aware about words.

A man goes into a bar and begins to tell a Polish joke. The man sitting next to him, a big, hulking, powerhouse of a man, turns and says menacingly,“I’m Polish. Now you just wait a minute till I get my sons.”

He then calls out, “Ivan, come out here; and bring your brother.” Two men, bigger than the first, appear from the back room. “Joseph,” the man calls out, “You and your cousin come in here,” Two more men, the biggest of all, come in through the back door. All five men crowd around the man

“Now,” says the first Polish man, “Do you want to finish that joke.”

“No,” says the man.

“No? And why not?” says the Polish man, opening and closing his fist, “Are you scared?”

“No,” says the man, “I just don’t feel like having to explain it to five men.”

People are very clever with words. They can hide any kind of reality. He is afraid – those five men can kill him – but he finds a beautiful excuse: “I don’t want to bother myself, explaining to five people the meaning of the joke.”

All the religions have been playing with words, and have not allowed man to be intelligent enough to see through the words. They have created a jungle of words and theologies and dogmas and creeds and cults. And poor man is simply carrying the whole load of it in the name of morality.

I want to tell you, never bother about morality. The only concern for a sincere seeker is awareness, more consciousness. And your consciousness will take care of all your acts. Without any effort, your acts will become moral – just like flowers without any act, without any effort they will blossom around you. Morality is nothing but a conscious man’s life style.

-Osho

From The Razor’s Edge, Chapter 19

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com  or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

Being Aware is Enough for Transformation – Osho

It is said again and again that being aware is enough for transformation. How does it work?

It is a significant question, because if you are aware of your cancer, the cancer will not be cured by just being aware of it – that is true. But as far as psychological transformations are concerned, the moment you are aware of them they disappear – because they do not exist as realities, they exist only as illusions.

You have seen a ghost standing in the dark: now you bring light, and you say there is nobody. Just the shape of the tree was giving you the false impression that somebody was standing there. The ghost has disappeared, because in the first place the ghost was not there. Awareness helps, brings transformation, because the illusions that you are suffering from are not realities. If you become aware of a rock, the rock is not going to disappear. But if you become aware of the ego, the ego is going to disappear, because the ego is not a reality.

If you become aware, fear is going to disappear, because fear is not a reality. If you become aware, death is going to disappear, because death is a lie, it is not a reality.

Awareness functions in two ways. One: if something is real and you become aware of it, it becomes tremendously beautiful, it becomes psychedelic, it becomes very colorful. If it is unreal, it disappears. If it is real, it becomes MORE real; if it is unreal, it becomes absolutely unreal.

Awareness is a light. If you bring light into the dark room, darkness will disappear, but the paintings on the wall will appear. When the room was dark, the paintings were not there; although they were there, you could not have seen them – for you they were not there and darkness was there. When you bring light, darkness is there no more and the paintings have appeared.

Something disappears when you become aware, and something appears. Death disappears, deathlessness appears. The ego disappears, egolessness appears. You disappear as a separate entity: God appears. God means, “I am no longer separate.”

“Was you ever in love, Dusty?” asked Walker Long of old Dusty Rhodes one day as they were picking up and putting them down on a railroad right-of-way.

“Yeah, once when I was a young squirt, I was in love,” answered old Dusty.

“Well, you never did get married, did you?” pursued Walker Long.

“Nope, I never did marry,” vouchsafed old Dusty.

“How did that happen?”

“Well, it was like this. The gal I was in love with wouldn’t marry me when I was drunk, and I wouldn’t marry her when I was sober.”

Awareness has its own ways. If you are aware, you will not be able to do many things you have been doing up till now, and you will be able to do many things you have never thought of doing before. If you are aware, you cannot be angry, because anger can exist only in a state of unawareness: that is a prerequisite for anger to exist.

If you are aware, anger is impossible and compassion becomes a natural outcome: the same energy that was becoming anger becomes compassion. If you are aware, sex disappears and love arises: the same energy that was becoming sexuality through unawareness takes on a new manifestation of love through awareness.

As far as psychological transformation is concerned, awareness is enough, analysis is not needed.

That is the difference between Eastern and Western psychology: Western psychology is too concerned with analysis. In the East, for five thousand years psychology has existed; it is the most ancient science in the East. But its concern is totally different; it is not at all interested in analyzing, the whole thing seems to be unnecessary.

And now Western psychology is also becoming aware of the fact that analysis leads nowhere. Have you ever come across a person who is totally analyzed? Even Sigmund Freud was not. Nobody can be totally analyzed. You can analyze one dream, but another day another dream arises. You can go on analyzing – people go to the analyst for years, but dreams don’t disappear, they go on coming; analysis does not make them disappear.

But in the East we know the art of making the disappear. So who bothers? It is as if you see a ghost in the dark – there is no ghost, just the form of the tree – and you start analyzing. You never come close to the tree, you never bring light; you start analyzing the form from far away. You can go on analyzing: nothing is going to happen out of that analysis.

Eastern psychology says: Light a candle, bring the candle to the place, and first see whether the ghost exists at all. If the ghost does not exist, then why bother? Why long long years of analysis?

The analyzed goes on pouring out rubbish, and the analyst goes on dissecting, analyzing, labeling and categorizing the rubbish. Much work goes on, and all futile, much ado about nothing.

Western psychology is based on analysis, Eastern psychology is based on awareness.

Just watch. There is no need to analyze. Become more and more intensely alert. And if you are aware of a problem, half the problem is already solved just by becoming aware of it. Just a slight awareness of the problem, and half the problem is already solved, because you have taken some energy out of it: that energy has become awareness. Become more aware, and the problem becomes dissolved.

Chunk by chunk, the problem disappears as you become aware, because you are pulling back energy which you had been pouring into the problem – that was creating the problem. You are taking your energy back, you are not cooperating any more. You were the creator of the problem: you have taken your energy back.

When all energy has been taken back, a moment comes when the problem flops. First become aware of a problem and then become more and more alert. Nothing else is needed; you need not go to any psychoanalyst.

It is one thing to have a problem, but it is another not even to be aware that you have a problem. That is like the eighty-year-old I heard about in Miami. He was vacationing with another octogenarian in Florida. During their stay they both made the acquaintance of some ladies younger than themselves.

They both fell in love and decided to get married in Florida in a double ceremony. Following the wedding night, they are both in their rocking chairs after breakfast.

The one says, “You know, I better see a doctor.”

The other says, “Why?”

“Well,” the first said, “I couldn’t consummate the marriage.”

“Oh,” said the second. “I better see a psychiatrist.”

“Why?” said the first.

“I didn’t even give it a thought.”

First become aware of your problem, and then go on becoming more and more aware of it. Don’t judge; judgment is an obstacle in becoming aware. Don’t call it any names, don’t evaluate. Don’t say it is good, don’t say it is bad, don’t label, don’t categorize. Just be alert: whatsoever it is, simply mirror it.

If you take a stand and you say, “This is bad,” then you have already blocked your awareness. You have concluded – now you are no longer impartial, you have already made a decision. And the moment you say something is bad, you cannot look at it eye to eye. When you say some man is bad, you can’t face him, you can’t encounter him; you avoid him. When you say something is good you become positively attached; when you say something is bad, you become negatively attached.

Observation means no attachment at all, this way or that, neither negative nor positive. You are simply an impartial mirror-like reflection, you simply reflect whatsoever is. In that awareness, problems melt. In that awareness, lies, falsities and fallacies disappear. And in that awareness, when falsities and appearances have disappeared, reality comes with radiant colors.

You need not take LSD or marijuana or psilocybin. Take a dose of awareness – and life is so beautiful, it is so utterly glorious, it is such an incredible splendor, that no LSD, no marijuana, can add anything to it. All that you need is awareness, and life becomes such a beautiful experience that you cannot imagine that there could be anything better. Ordinary life becomes so luminous.

The ordinary tree that you have passed your whole life – coming home, going to the office, you have always been passing the tree – for the first time you see the greenery of it. For the first time you see the luminous presence of the tree, the utter beauty of it.

Life is such a gift, and we go on missing it. And the reason is, between us and life there are so many lies crowding. Your awareness will destroy those lies: they will disappear, and reality will be nakedly encountered.

And to know reality in its utter nakedness is to know God.

-Osho

From Unio Mystica, Vol. 2, Chapter Ten

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

 

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com, or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from Viha Osho Book Distributors.

Investigate “I Am” – Nisargadatta Maharaj

Maharaj: Rajneesh [Osho] is not a small personality or small principal. He is tremendous ‒ he is very big. He is a great sage.

When you already have a guru [Rajneesh], why do you visit other sages? Since you already have a great sage as your guru, you should not sit here or come here. I do not like those shiftings from gurus to gurus. I do not like wanderers. What is the difference between Maharaj and Rajneesh [Osho]? Once you remove the letters (that is, the names) what is the difference? You investigate that wanderer’s “I”, before you investigate others. What is the product after you remove its name? What are you without the name or the label?

You investigate the investigator—investigate “I Am”.

Before you take up the assignment of inquiring about others, inquire about yourself first and see if you are real or unreal. The letters “I Am” are written spontaneously with a certain ink. What is that ink which was used to write that which you are? In that ink with which the letters “I Am” were written, in that ink the title of Tej Sesh Bhagavan is confirmed by the Vedas. Sesh means the leftover, the remains. What is the leftover that means what you are? [Maharaj then asked someone to leave and not to listen to these talks.] One who has understood one’s mystery as to what is, that one will not discuss or argue the largeness or smallness of anybody.

You have become a slave to a concept, and having become a slave to one concept you are fully involved and are immersed in more concepts. You are drowning in concepts. Having got caught up with the concept that you are, the first concept, you started giving names and titles and ideas to others and you became enmeshed therein. Although one may call oneself a jnani, one enjoys entertaining himself with a number of concepts. That Taj Sesh Bhagavan has spontaneously come and will spontaneously go. What are you going to get for yourself as “I Am”? In what position or concept did you stabilize yourself as “I Am”? The firm conviction that I am this, the three states—waking state, deep sleep and the knowledge “I Am”—are the aspects of that Tej Sesh Bhagavan. You are not that.

Question: Then who am I?

Maharaj: The prominent and firm reply is only you are. You throw the hooks with bait into the water to catch fish. In that way you, with the concept that you are, throw in the bait and haul in lots of concepts for yourself. So when the question followed by the answer is there, then anything which is refused (what remains) is that rejection.

Prior to any other recognition, you already are. If you are not, other people are not. You are supporting yourself on the intellect of the body and having stabilized in the body or the intellect, you are creating or inviting a lot of concepts, and in the concepts you are bogged down. You are talking about others, let me know what you are. I am asking about you. What are you? You are the observer.

-Nisargadatta Maharaj

From Consciousness and the Absolute, June 9, 1981.

You can read more from Nisargadatta Maharaj here.

Remembering Nisargadatta Maharaj- David Godman

The following is from an interview with David Godman.

Harriet: You say that Maharaj never visited other teachers because he no longer had any doubts. Did he ever talk about other teachers and say what he thought of them? 

David: He seemed to like J. Krishnamurti. He had apparently seen him walking on the streets of Bombay many years before. I don’t think that Krishnamurti noticed him. Afterwards, Maharaj always spoke well of Krishnamurti and he even encouraged people to go and see him. One day Maharaj took a holiday and told everyone to go and listen to Krishnamurti instead. That, I think, shows a high level of approval.

The most infamous teacher of the late 1970s was Osho, or Rajneesh as he was in those days. I once heard Maharaj say that he respected the state that Rajneesh was in, but he couldn’t understand all the instructions he was giving to all the thousands of foreigners who were then coming to India to see him. Although the subject only came up a couple of times while I was there, I got the feeling he liked the teacher but not the teachings. When Rajneesh’s foreign ‘sannyasins‘ showed up in their robes, he generally gave them a really hard time. I watched him throw quite a few of them out, and I saw him shout at some of them before they had even managed to get into his room.

I heard a story that he also encountered U. G. Krishnamurti in Bombay. I will tell you the version I heard and you can make up your own mind about it. It was told to me by someone who spent a lot of time with U. G. in the 1970s.

It seems that Maurice Frydman knew U. G. and also knew that he and Maharaj had never met, and probably didn’t know about each other. He wanted to test the theory that one jnani can spot another jnani by putting them both in the same room, with a few other people around as camouflage. He organised a function and invited both of them to attend. U. G. spent quite some time there, but Maharaj only came for a few minutes and then left.

After Maharaj had left Maurice went up to U. G. and said, ‘Did you see that old man who came in for a few minutes. Did you notice anything special? What did you see?’

U. G. replied, ‘I saw a man, Maurice, but the important thing is, what did you see?’

The next day Maurice went to see Maharaj and asked, ‘Did you see that man I invited yesterday?’ A brief description of what he looked like and where he was standing followed.

Then Maurice asked, ‘What did you see?’

Maharaj replied, ‘I saw a man Maurice, but the important thing is, what did you see?’

It’s an amusing story and I pass it on as I heard it, but I should say that U. G.’s accounts of his meetings with famous teachers sometimes don’t ring true to me. I have heard and read his accounts of his meetings with both Ramana Maharshi and Papaji, and in both accounts Bhagavan and Papaji are made to do and say things that to me are completely out of character.

When Maharaj told Rudi that he had no interest in visiting other teachers, it was a very true statement. He refused all invitations to go and check out other Gurus. Mullarpattan, one of the translators, was a bit of a Guru-hopper in the 1970s, and he was always bringing reports of new teachers to Maharaj, but he could never persuade him to go and look at them. So, reports of meetings between Maharaj and other teachers are not common. Papaji ended up visiting Maharaj and had a very good meeting with him. In his biography he gives the impression that he only went there once, but I heard from people in Bombay that Papaji would often take his devotees there. He visited quite a few teachers in the 1970s, often when he was accompanying foreigners who had come to India for the first time. It was his version of showing them the sights. They would never ask questions; they would just sit quietly and watch what was going on.

Harriet: What was Maharaj’s attitude to Ramana Maharshi and his teachings? Did you ever discuss Bhagavan’s teachings with him? 

David: He had enormous respect for both his attainment and his teachings. He once told me that one of the few regrets of his life was that he never met him in person. He did come to the ashram in the early 1960s with a group of his Marathi devotees. They were all on a South Indian pilgrimage tour and Ramanasramam was one of the places he visited.

With regard to the teachings he once told me, ‘I agree with everything that Ramana Maharshi said, with the exception of this business of the heart-centre being on the right side of the chest. I have never had that experience myself.’

I discussed various aspects of Bhagavan’s teachings with him and always found his answers to be very illuminating.

He asked me once, ‘Have you understood Ramana Maharshi’s teachings?’

Since I knew he meant ‘Had I actually experienced the truth of them?’, I replied, ‘The more I listen to Maharaj, the more I understand what Bhagavan is trying to tell me’.

I felt that this was true at both the theoretical and experiential levels. His explanations broadened and deepened my intellectual understanding of Bhagavan’s teachings and his presence also gave me experiential glimpses of the truth that they were all pointing towards.

I have to mention Ganesan’s visit here. V. Ganesan is the grandnephew of Ramana Maharshi and in the 1970s he was the de facto manager of Ramanasramam. Nowadays, his elder brother Sundaram is in charge. Ganesan came to visit Maharaj for the first time in the late 1970s. As soon as he arrived Maharaj stood up and began to collect cushions. He made a big pile of them and made Ganesan sit on top of the heap. Then, much to everyone’s amazement, Maharaj cleared a space on the floor and did a full-length prostration to him.

When he stood up, he told Ganesan, ‘I never had a chance to prostrate to your great-uncle Ramana Maharshi, so I am prostrating to you instead. This is my prostration to him.’

From Remembering Nisargadatta Maharaj: Harriet interviews David Godman, page two.

You can read more from Nisargadatta Maharaj here.